I got new shoes. They’re a gift from my daughters and wife because my old ones were looking quite crummy. There were stains from a frying accident, scratches from vacations and dog walks, and small holes in the bottom. They are scuffed and roughed.
But they fit great. The new shoes look good but fit terrible. In our ongoing battle between form and function the rest of my family has chosen form. Eventually I’ll wear my new shoes in but not before some blisters to get the fit right.
Fit applies to the larger world too. Our best moments with friends, our best choices in business, our best meals are all because of a good fit. Think about how many things have to go right for something to be great. Sometimes we’ll see something else go right and borrow a bit. Sometimes the bits fit, sometimes they don’t.
Bill Belichick is one of the best football coaches ever. Part of the reason he’s so successful is that he’s a historian of the game. As evidence, he donated 413 books - the oldest published in 1891 - to the Naval Academy. Belichick knows the game, but he also knows you can’t copy others. At the Patriot’s facility you’ll often hear him say, “What worked for them worked for them.”
Fit matters a lot in New England. If you don’t bring in the right people, Belichick said, you’ll be swimming upstream from the start.
“In the end what I learned was that you have to be yourself. You have to develop your own style. You can learn from other people but in the end you have to be able to be comfortable in your own skin doing that. If you believe in it then it can work.”
What’s great about fit is that it’s unique to each individual, team, or organization. There are some collection of things that are done better than some other collection. The key is finding a new point of view where you can see them.